Frankel speaks out against attack on reproductive rights

Bill would impose political and moral views under guise of emotional support

HARRISBURG, Oct. 29 – Today state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and other members of the Pennsylvania House Health Committee spoke out against a bill that would require any medical tissue resulting from abortion or miscarriage to be buried or cremated, regardless of the patient’s wishes or religious traditions.

The bill – H.B. 1890 – would require hospitals, abortion clinics and other providers to file a death certificate and arrange for the burial or cremation, increasing costs and barriers for individuals seeking to end pregnancies or even just seeking treatment after a miscarriage.

This requirement would encompass the medical tissue for any product of conception, including fetal tissue and embryonic tissue, as well as medical tissue containing a fertilized ovum or blastocyst.

According to the Mayo Clinic, 10% to 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage.

Frankel and other legislators criticized the restrictions as designed to shame and stigmatize patients and healthcare providers, with zero medical rationale.

“We received heartfelt emails from women telling us about their early miscarriages, how difficult they were, and how much worse it would have been were they forced to get a death certificate for a pregnancy that they understood so differently,” Frankel said. “It’s simply wrong to tell women what a loss of pregnancy is supposed to mean to them.”

The bill, approved by House Health Committee Tuesday on a party-line vote, is modeled after a 2016 Indiana law that requires fetal remains be buried or cremated instead of disposed according to existing state health and safety standards. The anti-choice measure was upheld in May by the U.S. Supreme Court.